Name of Business: Tick Tock Books
Your Name and Age: Anaya Naeem 30 years old
Tell us about your family:
Married to childhood love, have two gorgeous kiddies and working on hubby to get a cat. My son is 3 and daughter 1, so I qualify as a frazzled mum most days of the week.
Originally we are both from Manchester and visit often as all our families still reside there. Moved to Canary Wharf in 2005 and recently moved to Surrey once the kids came along.
What did you do before coming up with your business idea and how was it making the transition?
I worked in HR mainly in banking, I did go back after my son but second time round things were not as easy so I started looking at my options.
When did you launch?
2 months ago
How did you get started?
I already run a publishing business and Tick Tock Books was a natural off shoot idea I had a while ago. I just never had the time to implement anything up until now!
What research did you do before launching?
Publishing and printing technology has been changing rapidly, so like most industries there have been countless new opportunities arising in the market. Print on demand for example has allowed me as a small publisher to take risks I wouldn’t have been able to afford before. In addition printing price modes are now much cheaper and cost effective for short print runs, again creating new product ideas. I looked at who was doing this currently and found that although there were some services the books lacked creativity, my USP is having publishing experience I can bring a professional design element to my product and not out-price myself.
How have you funded the business?
I built the site myself, and set up a fax. I haven’t spent a penny on advertising; I’ve tried to get everything for free and so far it has worked. I learned huge lessons from mistakes I made with my publishing business, so out of stubborn principle I won’t be paying for anything unless I can see a tangible return.
How do you promote your business? What has worked best?
Viral marketing, Net mums was an obvious choice for me. Twitter is another great tool to leverage trade contacts. But I feel that direct marketing is what works best; I attend many playgroups so meet my target audience daily. Referrals by mouth are by far the best way of getting advertised for a small start-up.
What has worked well about your business?
It’s a flexible laptop business, which was a huge criteria when I was researching what would work around my family commitments. Because of this I can concentrate on work when I need to and I work better knowing I haven’t compromised time with my kids. Most of our buyers are parents so naturally it’s easier to relate to them being a mum myself, however the comparison stops there. Running a business of any nature, professionalism is essential if you want to be taken seriously. I also love art and creativity so doing something I enjoy is most certainly a good way to spend a day.
What has been your biggest challenge so far? How have you dealt with it?
Removing the illusion that the books are going to cost a huge amount of money! I think vanity press of any nature has always had a bad rep, with this in mind I wanted to make sure I had a real pricing model that would allow parents to have a choice. Getting my name out there! It’s so incredibly hard creating trust, however the nature of my product is a very valuable and sentimental therefore the consumers who are looking for a unique gift make a decision to buy instantly. The credit crunch has most definitely affected this market; families are being a lot more conscious about their spending. Long term I am confident my product has a strong place in the gift market.
How do you fit in work with the family?
At the moment I work when I can, mostly in the evenings. If nothing else I cope better in a week when I have meal/activity planned out, although there are days when everything goes out of the window.
What advice would you give to someone else wanting to work in this area?
For me it’s a lifestyle business, to make it scalable and grow and I will need help. I think the most important thing is to recognise what you want from it and then to enjoy what you do.
If you have a flexible working business opportunity, please explain briefly what you offer and how people find out more.
There is scope for a flexible working opportunity as my business grows, at the moment I am working with web-based outsourcing portals. I am a huge advocate of flexible working as the one-size fits all glove is truly coming to an end
Your website link: www.ticktockbooks.com
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